Fresh round of talks starts between Kosovo and Serbia

Fresh round of talks starts between Kosovo and Serbia

Pristina, 24 August 2015/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Elton Tota

A fresh round of talks between Kosovo and Serbia will start today in Brussels. The talks today will be held on a technical level, while tomorrow, there will be the meeting between the two prime ministers.

The main topic of these talks relates to the issue of the Association of Serb Communes and the removal of barricades over Iber Bridge in the north of Mitrovica.

A little before the meeting, the Kosovo delegation and the Serb one have expressed opposite stances in relation to the content of talks.

Kosovo’s Foreign Minister, Hashim Thaci declared once again that this Association will not have executive powers.

Thaci said that Serbia has always wanted to create a Srpska Republic in Kosovo, but according to him, such thing will not be permitted.

“I believe that new agreements will be reached, especially the one on the Association of Serb Communes. This Association will not have an executive character”, Thaci said.

The head of the Office for Kosovo in the Serb Government, Marko Djuric, insists that the Association of Serb Communes will have executive powers. Djuric has added that the Association will also be formed to oppose the majorities existing in the institutions of Kosovo. Ahead of the August 25 meeting in Brussels, Djuric says that the Serb side goes there “with the sincere desire to normalize relations”.

According to him, on Monday there will be a meeting between experts, while on Tuesday, there will be a meeting between Prime Minister of Serbia and Prime Minister of Kosovo with the brokerage of the EU head of diplomacy, Federica Mogherini.

Djuric has reiterated the fact that the creation of the Association would enable Serbs of Kosovo to manage their affairs and to defend themselves against assimilation. He has also added that he’s expecting Belgrade to fund the Association.

Meanwhile, analysts in Kosovo say that the Association of Serb Communes with executive powers will damage the state of Kosovo.

Milazim Krasniqi, professor at the University of Pristina, says that this association is being set up for the reintegration of Serbs in society and the state of Kosovo and judging by the current developments, he doesn’t believe that the association will have executive powers.

Otherwise, according to him, there would be serious implications for the existence of the state of Kosovo.

The head of the Department of Political Sciences at the University of Pristina, Afrim Hoti, says that it’s normal for the association of Serb Communes to be formed, but that this association must not have executive powers.

He fears that if the Association has executive powers, then this Association would turn into a mini government in order for Serbia to say to the Serbs of Kosovo that it has left them with an executive power.

Meanwhile, the largest opposition party in Kosovo, Self Determination, believes that the association damages the state of Kosovo and that this can only be stopped by the citizens.

“We are asking the citizens of Kosovo to decide for themselves; we’re asking real integration and not ethnically based divisions”, says Dardan Molliqaj, Self Determination secretary general. /ibna/